SPRINGFIELD >> Top seeds Upper Dublin and Abington would have loved to be battling each other for the district championship on Saturday, but upsets on both ends sent the pair into the third-place match.
“Everybody was a little tired from the first match, a little sluggish,” the Cardinals’ Bryan Szyana said.
But Upper Dublin prevailed, defeating the Ghosts 6-1, 6-4 to finish their day at the Springfield Healthplex with a victory heading into states.
“It feels good to end districts with a win,” Szyana said.
Upper Dublin and Abington move onto the PIAA State Doubles Tournament, earning the third and fourth spots out of District One Class AAA. North Penn came up just one set short of advancing, falling 0-6, 7-5, 6-2 to Council Rock North as the Indians locked up the fifth and final spot.
Upper Dublin’s duo of Szyana and Danny Katz shook off the fatigue the best way they could to close things out strong.
“I feel good. I’m definitely ready for the week and a half rest,” Szyana said with a smile. “But I’m excited. We should do well (at states).”
Upper Dublin went into districts as the No. 1 seed, and after a first-round bye, won their first two matches to move into the semis.
There, they met a determined Great Valley tandem.
“It was close and tough, a good match,” Szyana said. “Both teams played really well.”
The Cardinals took the first set, 7-6 (7-3) but Great Valley came right back, winning 6-3 to force a decisive third set.
“The second set wasn’t that great from us but they played well,” Szyana said. “And then it was real close, came down to two or three points.”
Pushing for a spot in the final, the match and momentum kept going back and forth until Nikyil Gangoli and Sam Kesti were able to finish it off for GV, winning 7-5.
Fourth-seeded Great Valley went on to play a thriller of a final against No. 3 Strath Haven, with the Black Panthers duo of Xandy Hammitt and Clay Gaieski holding on, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-4) to win the title.
It was Hammitt and Gaieski who stopped Abington in the semis, nailing several shots down the line and winning in impressive style, 6-2, 6-4.
North Penn’s Frank Yanni and Brijai Varma looked to be on their way, winning quickly in the first set 6-0 over Matt Whalen and Jeff Zhao, but the Indians turned it on and played their best down the stretch.
Whalen and Zhao won 7-5, 6-2 in the second and third sets to make it out of a tightly-contested District One.
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